Saturday, March 29, 2014

February 2014

I started the month by driving to St. Cloud to see my 9 yr-old niece (Alyssa) compete at a gymnastics tournament. I brought a cheering section with me from Morris to join with her favorite fans (family). She won a position (3rd) medal too in the individual floor competition! It was a blessing to hangout with family (bro and his family) and friends (housemates and another UMM college student from Japan).

The following day (Groundhog Day) was the Super Bowl, which some friends (Ed & Aisanne) invited my housemates and I over for a party. I stayed for only for the first half and half-time show (Bruno Mars!)as I had to do some other stuff at home and jump start (one of many times during this cold-winter season) my other housemate's (Jin's) vehicle.

On Monday morning during my overnight shift, I had some dispute with a particular individual. It started to get "unfriendly", but I kept praying for this individual despite my anger was building-up. I'm glad I've been asking God for patience, peace, etc.. (fruits of the spirit) over the years since I became a Christian. It paid off several days later...see story-> How to Overcome Offense (through forgiveness) .

The following day (4th), I went to Jane Adams with my housemate (Rai). During the 2nd weekend of the month, I went to visit family in the cities to celebrate my younger brother's be-lated birthday. We went to a Japanese-Chinese "buffet" restaurant in West St. Paul. I got my food "freshly" cooked (see shrimp-seafood imitation crab noodle dish) , which I've started to do this instead of going through the buffet lines. While I was in the cities, I took advantage of the automotive services, like getting an oil change at Firestone (great discount with coupon from the back of the receipt of Cub Foods).

I got a discount card (50% off) from my workplace for Pizza Ranch, so I treated (Buffalo Chicken) my housemates on Thursday (13th) with a large pizza there. The following day (Valentines Day, I celebrated a friend's (Ed) birthday with some friends by going bowling at Crystal Lanes.

During the 3rd weekend (February 15th), I walked two blocks with my housemates to Dairy Queen's annual "50% off everything Customer Appreciation" sale for lunch. Then I went back with the same housemate and joined another friend (Chris) for supper later (to avoid the "meal rush hour") in the evening and got two different sandwiches (e.g. fish & Chicken). On Sunday, a friend (Ed) and I played some football indoors. I made a youtube video of Ed making the "Longest Football Throw into Basketball Morris (as we know of yet.).... ".

Temperatures were the warmest (mid 30's) in months on President's Day (Monday, February 17th), so I took advantage of this time to continue my car project (replacing new headlight covers-just did my right-passenger side). It started to get cooler, so I went inside and cleaned more of my attic (going through all my totes of ESL stuff). On Wednesday (19th), my housemate (Yuu from Japan) joined me in my weekly ESL-GED classes, which we a great conversation with a couple of students (Cambodian and Ukrainian). The "nice" warmer weather lasted only several days, which was a nice break during this "long" colder than average winter season. We ended up having a blizzard on Thursday (20th), which wasn't too bad as we had only a 1-hour late start the next day.

On Saturday (22nd), I had a family (Michael, Kerri, and son) from my local church over to hangout with my housemate (Rai) and I for lunch (e.g. Willies' Jo Jo's). We shared videos (e.g. Germany) from youtube as our educational and fun entertainment. The following day, we had our annual guest speaker (Jim M. from City Hill in Eden Prairie) come from the Twin Cities to encourage us. He actually brought a challenging "reminder" message on "Who is your #1 passion?...Jesus? We (muah) get so busy in life that we fill our time with all these "things to do" and forget our Creator. This challenged me to analyze where and how I put my time each day.

I ended the shortest month of the year with the annual fish fry (with Yuu, Ed, and Aisanne) during the start of "Lent Season", which I'm currently challenging myself to "fast (eating healthier, prioritizing my time that's more "purposeful", and sustain from certain foods also to improve my eye sight for next month's eye exam for my every two year bus driver license certification) and pray" during the 40 days to seek my "Heavenly Father's heart" more (e.g. David in Psalms).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

January 2014

I started the first the next several days after the New Year's Holiday by working out as my 2014 "new year's" getting fit goal. I joined Body Pump for the first time since last winter on Saturday (4th) to do something "different" from my normal workout routine. Also, it was a great way to keep warm in this chilly start of the new year. I recorded close to 50 below zero wind chills on the 6th (Monday) and 3 feet of "new" snow. We had a 2 hour late start on either the 6th/7th. I took advantage of this weather by watching some movies, which my housemate (Yuu from Japan) and I watched some World War II footage on youtube (e.g. Japanese of the Philippines). He was very remorseful by actually "apologizing" "out of nowhere" for the actions his country did towards the Philippines, which I was very caught by surprised and thought it was very thoughtful. Even though this didn't happen in our generation, it was actually humbling of him to do that as he already knew I was a WWII "history buff" (e.g. particularly the Phiippine arena). On the 9th, I finally finished a video project (interview of my Uncle Totoy about his life during World War II) I started back in the beginning of 2013. Later in the day, my housemates and I were invited to this supper "Welcoming New UMM International Students" at the La Fave House. A weather note on Friday (10th), the temperatures went up to 20F, which melted enough snow to cause some fog as I went to the RFC to workout after dropping off a client at the P.E. Center (UMM Cougar's basketball game) from the group home I work at.

With this cold weather, it's a great time to do house cleaning. I did more cleaning in my attic on Saturday (11th), which I'm hoping to get rid of as many unnecessary "stuff" before the winter season ends to enjoy the up-coming "much-appreciated" Spring weather. I also caught up on my video production of my trip to the Philippines in November of 2012. I was able to get 10+ videos alone of my 1st 2-3 day of the 14-day vacation there.

The weather warmed up to 39F as a high on the 12th, so my housemates and I took advantaged of the nicer weather by skiing and snowboarding at Cougar -Tiger Hill..

On Monday (13th), my housemate (Yuu) and I played some racquetball, which is a great "cardio" exercise alternative to running the treadmill or any machines all the time during the cold winter days. Then on the 15th (Wednesday), I went swimming as another great cardio activity.

We had another "snow" day (Thursday 16th) due to a blizzard. I took advantage of this by doing more cleaning (e.g. kitchen. If you can't "beat" the cold, might as well have fun in it. On Saturday (18th), my housemates (Yuu & Rai), Eric, and I went to Wilmar to get some shopping done and to explore a different town outside of Morris besides Alexandria. Afterwards, we drove to Spicer for their annual "Winter Fest" month-long celebration. We just got their just in time with an open parking spot to view the fireworks show over Green Lake! I call it God's blessed timing! The next day (Sunday 19th), I went snowboarding with several of my friends (Chris, Oray, and Olga) at Andes Tower Hills (Kensington-30 minutes NE of Morris). It was ideal snowboarding weather (32-39 F), but it was cut short (2 hours only) as my screw came off from one of my snowboard. Next time, I should bring extra screws! I ended-up watching 2 plus hours of the NFL playoff (Seahawks vs. 49ners).

On Monday (20th), I attend the 1st monthly "Community Meal" at Faith Lutheran Church, which was the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday theme. On Wednesday (22nd), we had another snow day due to another blizzard. I took advantage of this day-off by cutting my hair and then ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill at the RFC.

I did my 2nd body pump of the year on Saturday (25th) and then went to Benson with a couple of friends (Yuu and Chris) to "Mi Mexico" (great "authentic" Mexican food). I wanted to "get outside" of town with our "small window of opportunity" of nice weather before the up-coming forecast of more "bad" weather. We did have one as Monday (27th) there was no work again at my full-time job. I took advantage of the "snow day" by starting on my taxes. We finally had nice weather on a Wednesday (since the 8th), but the ESL/GED classes had to be cancelled due to a rescheduled Adult Basic Education (ABE)-GED Diploma Ceremony for last year's GED recipients. It was nice to bring my housemate (Yuu) along with me as we went shopping afterwards before going back to Morris.